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No rush, please!

Posted by robertkraus on 03 Mar 2016 at 11:00 GMT

Dear colleagues,

I have followed this issue with interest and also contributed to the discussion on Twitter. I have a few comments to the culture of the discussion in this comments section:

1.) The tone of some comments is laden with hate or at least despair; and this does not bring us far in preserving standards of scientific debate.

2.) A premature conviction without hearing all sides is inappropiate in the culture that we wish to preserve as scientists.

3.) A thoughtful answer by the body in charge of this publication, namely Plos One, can only be done after internal communication and taking into account statements (or non-statements) of the authors, the reviewers, the associate and the managing editors (as well as the copy editor perhaps). I do not expect such a thoughtful and balanced answer on the very same day when the issue arises. An appriopiate time frame for all involved parties is to my opinion in the order of 2-3. (certainly not much more!)

"Changing the published record": NO! The paper as it is is now part of the published record, as are the many comments that come with it. Keep it here. Perhaps allow the authors an erratum and the editors a statement that comes as a citable article as well. Or retract after evaluating all other options. In any case be transparent and do not erase any of this discussion or the original published article.

In my personal opinion the paper should be retracted, and it is an insult to me personally because I had quite a struggle to publish with Plos One for many good but also idiotic reasons. I have been reviewer, too, for your journal and hope that your reaction in this matter will reinstall the faith in your editorial management processes. Double standards for whatever reason are inappropiate in scientific publishing.

Robert H. S. Kraus, University of Konstanz, Germany

No competing interests declared.